Beechdean’s Howard and Turner eyeing more silverware at Snetterton
Beechdean AMR duo Andrew Howard and Darren Turner are hoping to maintain their recent run of good results when British GT hosts two more 60-minute sprint races at Snetterton this weekend.
2016’s European Le Mans Series champions have enjoyed a strong start to the season, with two podiums from the first three races helping them sit third in the GT3 Drivers’ standings.
Two-time British GT3 champion Howard knows better than most how consistency is key to winning the domestic crown and believes the same approach from this weekend onwards will keep the #99 Aston Martin crew firmly in contention for another title.
“The goal for us now is to consistently score good points so we need regular podium finishes,” he said. “We may suffer to the Lamborghinis and Bentleys if it’s dry but we have done a lot of miles there in racing and testing so we are prepared.
“I’ve got good memories of British GT at Snetterton. We won there in 2015 in horrendous rain and that laid down the platform for us to win the championship. It was an all-or-nothing moment and we came out on top.”
Indeed, that result in August 2015 remains the last of Howard’s eight overall British GT victories to date. It also forms part of a sequence that has seen Aston Martin and Lamborghini win seven consecutive races at Snetterton, a run stretching back to Trackspeed and Porsche’s victory there in 2014.
“I’ve always liked Snetterton and the short, sprint races are particularly good there,” continued Howard. “You have room to be enthusiastic and push on and there’s enough in the track to make a difference between the drivers. It has a really good combination of high speed and technical corners and at our level the technical corners are tricky for the amateurs so getting those right can make a big difference to the outcome.”
Howard’s co-driver Turner considers Snetterton something of a second home given the amount of testing Aston Martin Racing’s factory and customer teams conduct there. He’s also eager to maintain Beechdean AMR’s strong start to the season despite having to serve a five-second pitstop success penalty in Race 1.
“We’ve collected decent points in the first two weekends at Oulton Park and Rockingham so now we need to keep that momentum going and get on the podium again,” he said. “Snetterton has always felt like a ‘home’ circuit to me as I lived in Norfolk for a few years. We also test there a lot so there isn’t much we don’t know about that circuit. It would be great to come away with a podium. The Aston Martin always goes well there so we are feeling good about the weekend’s prospects.”
Two free practice sessions and qualifying kick off British GT’s third round of the season on Saturday before a pair of 60-minute sprint races take centre stage on Sunday. Both will be streamed live on British GT’s Facebook page and website, but there’s no substitute for actually being there, as Howard explains:
“I would go down to the section between The Esses and Bomb Hole where you can see back down the straight,” he added. “That’s where it usually all kicks off so there is plenty to see!”
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